Industry News

Ballscrews replace hydraulics in powder presses Featured

Switzerland-based Osterwalder AG is replacing hydraulic drives with servo-electric drives featuring NSK HTF series ballscrews in its latest range of powder presses. As a result, users of the new systems can achieve a reduction in energy consumption of around 80% and produce pressed parts with far higher dimensional accuracy. This capability reduces the amount of finishing work, such as grinding with diamond wheels, and cuts process and material costs.

Metal-cutting tools such as carbide inserts are typically produced using powder press technology. This process entails filling a metal powder alloy into a die and pressing into the desired shape before final sintering. At the end of the process, tool manufacturers require inserts that are as close as possible to the final profile, as additional finishing is both expensive and challenging; the sintered inserts are extremely hard.

To help deliver extra precision into the powder pressing process, Osterwalder recently took the decision to introduce new drive systems: the CA SP Electric and CA HM Electric series. This ´Direct Drive Technology´ (DDT) with servo-electric motors and NSK ballscrews, replaces the former hydraulic drives, which are now only used in presses requiring exceptionally high forces.

Heavy-duty ball screws from NSK´s HTF (High Trust Force) series are responsible for the linear motion of Osterwalder presses. Along with high precision and good controllability, users of Osterwalder powder presses featuring the new drive systems can also achieve energy savings of around 80%. A powder press with a hydraulic drive and pressing force of 160 kN has an energy consumption of up to 15 kW. In contrast, a servo-electric system requires only 2.5-3.5 kW. Since Osterwalder customers typically operate between 10 and 70 powder presses, the potential cost savings are vast.

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